Posts Tagged “Toy Review”

World’s Smallest Toys Make Big Impact With Pocket Size Nostalgia

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Disclosure: We are excited to be partnered with The World’s Smallest and The World’s Coolest brands to bring you this review.  As part of this collaboration, we’ve been provided with samples of the below items in exchange for our honest feedback and review of the items. The opinions and thoughts expressed herein are strictly our own and represent our honest opinion of the products. Affiliate links may be included in this article.

Sometimes you come across the smallest things that offer such a huge impact… and that’s exactly how we felt about The World’s Smallest toy line. While some of the items are just darn right adorable… some bring you back to your childhood and there’s nothing to compare to that feeling. For instance the World’s Smallest Lite Brite reminds me of time spent with cousins getting creative. The World’s Smallest Tinker Toys or Magic 8 Ball, Uno and Lincoln Logs are among some of the other “throw back” pieces. Check out the entire line with Super Impulse. As kids, we’d play Uno for hours… it was easy.

These little reproductions are fully functional, with buttons, game pieces or lights & sounds to make it an authentic experience and reproduction. Imagine playing Space Invaders or Frogger on the tiniest arcade. Super cool but what’s even cooler is describing these things and sharing our childhood stories with our kiddos. It was a different time and much to be learned from sharing these stories.

Speaking of learning… the Crayola sets are fantastic for sparking on-the-go creativity and learning fun. Love the fact that it comes as a key chain, so you can clip it on a backpack or lunch tote. Kids are obsessed with all the backpack clip on accessories… in my opinion the Crayola set beats them all out. The fact that they come in sturdy cases, means they will hold up at the bottom of your purse. These little carry-ever creative kits… as well as mostly the entire The World’s Coolest line… are the perfect “emergency” kit when at the emergency room, or soccer field or DMV.

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Beat Bugs Toys & Netflix Show Introduce Youngsters to The Beatles

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Disclosure: We were provided a sample in exchange for an honest review. As always, the opinions and content expressed herein are strictly our own. This post contains affiliate links.

Adorable bug characters, called the Beat Bugs, are introducing a new generation of kids to The Beatles and their iconic music. Beat Bugs is a Netflix original series, starring 5 adventurous bugs friends. As they explore their environment and curiosities, Beatles songs are woven into the storyline, creating a catchy and innovative way to keep The Beatles alive. Just as innovated, are the creative playset for children to make their own adventures with the Beat Bug friends. Playsets play 3 different Beatles songs and have a variety of characters to play with.

Below, check out Victoria’s review of the Yellow Submarine toy, which you will also find in our Holiday Gift Guide for this year. There are several playsets, each playing different songs from the famous band, covered by other famous sings such as Rod Stewart, Pink, Sia and more. The Netflix original series is surely one to check out.

For more holiday gift suggestions, please visit our Holiday Gift Guide by clicking below:

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Costumes Are Not Just For Halloween

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Aeromax Space Shuttle & Astronaut Costume

 

Disclosure: We were provided sample items from Aeromax for review purposes and inclusion in our holiday gift guide. The opinions expressed herein are always strictly our own. This post may contain affiliate links.  We are providing honest feedback in exchange for the product.

Fun Fact: Costumes can be cool all year round! So Halloween has come and gone and now the New Year is quickly approaching. We love a good celebration, especially those with a theme. Costumes can play a huge part in pulling that theme together. Aeromax specializes in children and adult costumes… perfect for such occasions as in ringing in the new year or a birthday bash.

In our video below you will find Victoria romping around in a one-piece astronaut suit from Aeromax. The space patches, real-working zippers and pockets truly make this feel like real NASA uniforms. It comes with a matching cap or you can purchase the helmet separately. Victoria is rocking the orange suit (to match her hair) but there is a white suite and helmet available as well.

Dress up isn’t just for girls. Take playtime to new depths with costumes and cosplay. It ignites imagination and further piques the curiosity they hold for the world that surrounds them.

And let’s not forget that police officers and astronauts aren’t just for boys. My daughter is having a great time pretending to be a scientist and being part of the NASA exploration team, just like the ladies from Hidden Figures. I saw Victoria’s confidence boost just from being in the orange uniform. And she could imagine herself as an astronaut. Added props like the Space Shuttle summer float only expands that playtime (in the pool or not). The Space Shuttle is easy to inflate and feels sturdy. It offers an excellent prop for Space themed parties or playdates. It is terrific to add to any space-station-fort-building afternoon.

Encourage your kids to take a break from tech with Aeromax.

You can find these Aeromax Space items and much more in our holiday gift guide. Click on the link below to be taken to pages of learning fun perfect for holiday gift giving.

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Amazing Fun Finds in Our Holiday Gift Guide

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Disclosure: Attached is our Holiday Gift Guide, with many (not all) of the items within having been given to us in exchange for inclusion and/or product reviews. As always, the opinions herein and in the HGG are our honest views and strictly our own.

Holiday Gift Guide

And just like that, we are in the Holiday Season. Victoria & I have been excited for months, actually… because we’ve had a sneak peek at some of the amazing things now available for those Christmas wishlists to the Big Guy.

And yes, we’ve included the VERY popular Fingerlings… but we’ve got so much more too. Cool tech like Luva Bella and Meccano M.A.X. and of course, VTech. New favorite Knex has made our guide and our Holiday Gift Guide wouldn’t be complete without game picks.

 

And then there’s our absolute TOP PICK for this season: Hearts For Hearts Girls. These dolls pass the fashion test with the softest hair, cutest outfits and accessories for girls to wear. But what really matters is that each doll has a story. She is representing her country with a back story, dealing with real world issues in her country. For Mexico, Consuelo is addressing hunger issues for children. The storybooks are fantastic, drawing you in and then you can go online for additionally diary content and download the app for games and exploration. But wait… it gets better. Every doll purchase supports the effects of World Vision with $1 donation for each purchase. We will be doing a separate doll review, so please check back for Victoria’s video review, more pictures and a hidden learning moment in the packaging. #TopPick2017

 

Please be sure to click on the Holiday Gift Guide, share it via Facebook and social media and give us your favorite holiday find this year in the comments below.

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Holiday Shopping Tips & Our Holiday Gift Guide

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Holiday Gift Guide
While this post isn’t sponsored, many of the toys, games and tech included in the attached Holiday Gift Guide were provided to us for review or promotional purposes. As always, the opinions expressed herein are our honest thoughts and strictly our own. Affiliate links are included, as this is one way to support this blog and content.

It’s that exciting time of year when all the lights twinkle and there is joy in the air. Okay, sure there are holiday stresses too but let’s not go there. Back to the twinkle, shimmer and sparkle, please.

 

Holiday Gift Guide

perplexus miniWhat shimmers, twinkles and sparkles for me, isn’t quite what twinkles and shimmers for kids, but what does twinkle is their eyes when they open the “big” gift. It fascinated me what the “must-have” gifts are year after year. Furby, Transformers, Nintendo. Do you remember the Tickle Me Elmo of ’96? But did you know it started with the Rubik Cube? I think Cabbage Patch Kid gets the credit with their iconic store fights but really it was the Rubik Cube in 1980 that started this trend. The Rubik Cube was actually invented in 1974… as a math tool to demonstrate 3D geometry. At the time is was called the Magic Cube but in 1980 was renamed after the inventor Erno Rubik… the rest, as they say, was history. And while it took Professor Rubik over a month to solve his own cube invention… today we have wiz kids solving it in under 10 seconds. Wait… what?!?  And, I actually know one of these wiz cube masters, although I don’t know his speed. In today’s market you can find all sorts of variation of Rubik Cube, include the World’s Smallest version, as pictured. Good luck, Thomas, keeping your record on this mini size cube!

The Rubik Cube isn’t quite the hype today that it was decades ago, it’s a classic. Today’s sold-out-everywhere toy is the Hachimal. An adorable, electronic… oh wait, duh, everyone already knows this because almost every kid wants one. Okay, so what else is hot this season? Where are the bargains? And what’s going to give us parents the longest run for our investments?  Wait… investment? Yup, toys, games and tech are actually investments. Some have longer shelf lives than others but playtime should be considered as an investment. You can learn more about the invaluable necessity of playtime in my article found in our Holiday Gift Guide.

laura-square-imageSo looking beyond what our kids are “dying” for this holiday season and really giving weight to what we are investing in, I’ve got a few suggestions. First, consider the things that has more meaning behind it. For example, I couldn’t be more excited to gift my daughter the Laura Ingall’s doll from Little House on the Prairie. This was a show I grew up on and one that my daughter is now enthralled with… so naturally the “18 doll isn’t just another doll in her collection but a doll that ties her back to MY childhood. I remember many years ago, gifting my son a couple Transformers for the holiday. At the same time, my husband had pulled his old (original) Transformers out from storage. It’s about making a meaningful connection.

Here’s another thought, what are the toys, gadgets, books, etc that YOU are most likely to engage with. Listen, we all know that some of these toys are cool for about a week and then they find their way stuffed under the bed. BUT, if you were interested in building it, reading it, sharing the playtime moment together… then that toy or book or science kit would be less likely to meet the dust bunnies.

Our gift guide provides insight into some very cool stuff, although maybe not THE hottest gift (yeah, we couldn’t snag one either) but definitely some cool things to keep in mind as you round out your shopping lists. Take a look, bookmark it and comment below with what grabbed your attention.

 

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Some of these items are so super awesome, we’ll be doing specific reviews for more in depth discussion and detail. Look for our Youtube videos and follow up articles, starting with our STEM TEN line-up. Woo Hoo… Science has never been so cool.

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Floof: Indoor “Snow” Activities for Any Season

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So we might not be quite ready to think about snow days… but this reusable Floof  “snow” is a great activity for any season.

Partnered with companies such as Play Vision offers the opportunity to share with readers the very “coolest” toys. While this is a #sponsored post (we received a sample product for this review), the opinions expressed herein are strictly my own.

Floof Profile Pic

It’s the end of summer and we’ve been just a little busy with game reviews… so we’re super excited about Floof. No instructions!!  Just soft, snow-like material to shape and mold. Here we’ve been playing with the Mr. & Mrs. Snowman set which comes with  accessories to build a small family.

Floof Molding Resusable Toy
The girls really enjoyed the simple craft time. The Floof is so soft to hold and very relaxing to manipulate.

Floof Profile Pic 2

One bucket has enough to make several snowmen, but only has enough eyes, carrots for 2 figures. You can get creative with lego or barbie pieces to outfit the remaining snowmen if needed. Or use the leftover Floof to create a snow drift or snowy blanket floor.

Floof Reusable Molding Toy

As a mom, I must mention how simple the clean up was. After the girls put all the pieces and Floof into the bucket, I just took a wet paper towel to the play area and that’s how easy it was. I will mention though, that because Floof is water soluble make sure children have dry, clean hands when playing. Otherwise it gets a bit sticky (just wash hands and dry to resume play).

Floof Profile Pic 2

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2013 Holiday Toy Review

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#HotToys13, 2013 Christmas Toy Review

LeapFrog LeapReader Reading/Writing System

Before one holiday ends, the next has begun so that’s how we’ve come to talk about Christmas on Halloween. Regardless if you’re in Halloween mode (keep in mind that I’m writing this between Halloween family activities today) or if your heart has fast-forward to Christmas there is lots of buzz surrounding super cool toys & tech.

A quick trip to the Big Apple last week for the Toy Insider’s and The Big Toy Book’s Holi-Play event afforded me the opportunity to discover the season’s “must-have” items. I am so excited to share some of what I found, especially since there was such a variety. Here are some of my favorites:

Well known LeapFrog was on site to showcase the LeapPad Ultra with various cartridge games for math, science and reading. The LeapFrog LeapReader system is a wonderful program for teaching writing and of course a wide variety of LeapReader books to encourage reading and enhance reading skills. Check out the video below – this is a must-have on our list!!

Science kits, robots, princesses, Minnie Mouse, tablets, toys toys toys…check out The Toy Insider music video and check out their link for a breakdown including the “Hot 20” and “Top Tech 12” lists.

So back to Halloween – many families have adapted a new tradition of trading unwanted or excess candy for a small toy. After selecting a small sample or having a couple days of candy binging – candy is then bagged up for the Switch Witch, who in turn leaves a treat in exchange for the candy. Many of the items showcased at the Toy Insider Holi-Play event would be perfect for this exchange – for instance the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or any of the Angry Birds Star Wars Telepods by Hasbro and even Laser Pegs robots or building sets. The 3D Christmas Holiday Specs would make for a great exchange idea to help transition into the holiday spirit. These magical glasses transform street lamps and headlights into colorful, playful Christmas characters.

Homeroom At Home looks to find toys and games that engage learning in not-so-obvious ways. That’s why we love brands like Mega Bloks, Laser Pegs, Thames and Cosmos, Cloud_B, Hasbro, LeapFrog, Disney and Vtech providing many opportunities for parents to fold in some learning while having playful family time. The possibilities are endless and the hot toys to consider for this year’s gift giving are very exciting and provide many avenues of quality learning fun. Again I was invited to a Media preview of the season’s best toy selection provided by The Big Toy Book and The Toy Insider. I was given several sample toys to play with my family and review but this article was not sponsored or compensated. As always the ideas, suggestions and opinions expressed here are strictly my own. Many thanks to all of the sponsors including Women’s Day Magazine (where you can also find The Toy Insider insert). Amazon affiliate links were used throughout this article.

Comment below with your favorite childhood toy and how does that compare to the toys on the market today? Which is your favorite?

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